Sabanci Holding Pioneers Sustainability With its ‘Net Zero Emissions’ Goal

Sabanci Holding, one of the largest industrial and financial conglomerates in Turkey, has set itself a goal to achieve ‘Net Zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest. The Holding also increases the number of its circular business practices and reviews its processes with a “zero waste” plan.


Sabanci Holding CEO Cenk Alper & Sabanci Holding Group President Human Resources and Sustainability Hakan Timur

Commenting on the matter, Sabanci Holding CEO Cenk Alper highlighted the fact that approaches that doesn’t integrate sustainability to the core of business in all its aspects are no longer valid in the global economy, and said: “As Sabanci, we do not view sustainability as a topic we are sensitive about only on certain levels and occasionally jump into, saying “We’re in!”. On the contrary, it is one of the topics in which we act as a pioneer in the society and push ourselves to develop further. In addressing sustainability thoroughly, in all its environmental, social, and governance aspects, we entirely integrate this approach into each company and each unit of our business. As part of this endeavor, we decided to review our purpose as Sabancı Holding and worked with our executive team. Upon the joint support and approval of our entire Board of Directors, notably of our Chair Güler Sabancı, we rephrased our purpose as “We unite Turkey and the World for a sustainable life with leading enterprises.”


Sabanci Holding CEO Cenk Alper added: “On the other hand, some of our Holding companies are already among the leaders in sustainability initiatives such as CDP Turkey, especially in the theme of Climate Change. As you know, CDP is one of the most recognized global disclosure system in terms of environmental data. Throughout the years that we worked to increase our environmental performance, we reached a rate of 20 percent in recycling our annual water consumption and an annual reduction of 20 percent in energy and emission intensity. We reduced the amount of wastewater across our Holding companies by 17 percent within only a couple of years. We became one of the first private sector representatives to join the ‘Business World Plastic Initiative’, which aims to fight against plastic pollution. Having said that, we see that many of the required methods or technologies to transform the private sector in order to achieve each and every sustainable development goal, especially avoiding the worst consequences of climate crisis, are not yet widespread on a global level nor in Turkey. This is one of the reasons why different sectors are making progress at varying rates across the world. As Sabanci, we also operate in many different sectors and businesses. This is a clear sign that our task is not easy. We are aware of the fact that we will be making rapid progress in certain sectors, while facing many challenges in others. Our intention as Sabancı is to push our limits to reach our sustainability goals as soon as possible, taking full advantage of our R&D and innovation capacity. And, our cultural transformation, which we launched with the motto “Next Generation Sabanci” and with a focus on people, digitalization, and technology, will be a substantial driving force for us on this journey. We are willing to reach all our goals, including “Net Zero Emissions” by 2050, a critical threshold for our planet, at the latest. As we make progress towards these goals, the horizon will be more visible for many of the goals which seem almost impossible today. All we need to do is to set off on this journey with all our strength and resources as the business community. We are proud to set forth Sabanci Holding’s mission of pioneering and setting an example in the area of sustainability as well, through these goals we set and shared with the public.”


Noting how the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the extent of our world’s vulnerability in the face of a global crisis, Sabanci Holding Group President Human Resources and Sustainability Hakan Timur commented: “We have no luxury of acting slowly to tackle climate crisis. Setting a clear goal is the first step of achieving this transformation. As Sabanci Holding, to achieve our long-term goals as announced by our CEO Cenk Alper, we have put together an extensive roadmap for our Holding, in collaboration with all our Companies. This roadmap features around 100 short-, mid-, and long-term actions and initiatives to be taken. As our CEO Cenk Alper has also mentioned, this roadmap addresses sustainability thoroughly; not only in terms of the actions to be taken against the climate crisis, but also in all its ESG aspects. It also includes many goals focusing on creating shared value for the people and society, which are among the fundamental priorities of our Holding. We will be tracking and reviewing all these actions on a regular basis and will work towards further increasing the bar in terms of how we embed sustainability into core of our business.”


6 of Sabanci Holding companies are listed on Borsa Istanbul Sustainability Index. Representing Turkey in World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), one of the leading global business world platforms in sustainable development, Sabanci Holding is also part of the global ‘CFO Network’ of the Council, which operates in sustainable finance. Sabanci Holding is also a Board member of the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Turkey (BCSD Turkey), WBCSD’s representative and partner in the country.

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